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THURSDAY EDITION: We went over to Gloucester and watched the Tuna Tournament and I saw quite a few 400 pound tuna fish being offloaded, not sure who won the money as I left early. No matter who one, lots of beer was being consumed  by the hundreds watching the festivities....

Tiny Transceiver Gets It Done with One Transistor

When we first spotted the article about a one-transistor amateur radio transceiver, we were sure it was a misprint. We’ve seen a lot of simple low-power receivers using a single transistor, and a fair number of one-transistor transmitters. But both in one package with only a single active component? Curiosity piqued.

It turns out that [Ciprian Popica (YO6DXE)]’s design is exactly what it says on the label, and it’s pretty cool to boot. The design is an improvement on a one-transistor transceiver called “El Pititico” and is very petite indeed. The BOM has only about fifteen parts including a 2N2222 used as a crystal-controlled oscillator for both the transmitter and the direct-conversion receiver, along with a handful of passives and a coupe of hand-wound toroidal inductors. There’s no on-board audio section, so you’ll have to provide an external amplifier to hear the signals; some might say this is cheating a bit from the “one transistor” thing, but we’ll allow it. Oh, and there’s a catch — you have to learn Morse code, since this is a CW-only transmitter.

As for construction, [Ciprian] provides a nice PCB  layout, but the video below seems to show a more traditional “ugly style” build, which we always appreciate. The board lives in a wooden box small enough to get lost in a pocket. The transceiver draws about 1.5 mA while receiving and puts out a fairly powerful 500 mW signal, which is fairly high in the QRP world. [Ciprian] reports having milked a full watt out of it with some modifications, but that kind of pushes the transistor into Magic Smoke territory. The signal is a bit chirpy, too, but not too bad.

via Blog – Hackaday https://hackaday.com/2024/07/12/tiny-transceiver-gets-it-done-with-one-transistor/

Going Ham Mobile on a Bicycle

It’s said that “Golf is a good walk spoiled,” so is attaching an amateur radio to a bike a formula for spoiling a nice ride?

Not according to [Wesley Pidhaychuk (VA5MUD)], a Canadian ham who tricked out his bike with a transceiver and all the accessories needed to work the HF bands while pedaling along. The radio is a Yaesu FT-891, a workhorse mobile rig covering everything from the 160-meter band to 6 meters. [Wes] used some specialized brackets to mount the radio’s remote control head to the handlebars, along with an iPad for logging and a phone holder for streaming. The radio plus a LiFePO4 battery live in a bag on the parcel rack in back. The antenna is a Ham Stick mounted to a mirror bracket attached to the parcel rack; we’d have thought the relatively small bike frame would make a poor counterpoise for the antenna, but it seems to work fine — well enough for [Wes] to work some pretty long contacts while pedaling around Saskatoon, including hams in California and Iowa.

The prize contact, though, was with [WA7FLY], another mobile operator whose ride is even more unique: a 737 flying over Yuma, Arizona. We always knew commercial jets have HF rigs, but it never occurred to us that a pilot who’s also a ham might while away the autopilot hours working the bands from 30,000 feet. It makes sense, though; after all, if truckers do it, why not pilots?

 

TUESDAY EDITION: It's 90 degrees somewhere, glad I am on the island....

ARRL Confirms Data Breach: 150 Employees Affected, Offers 24 Months of Free Identity Monitoring

The American Radio Relay League (ARRL) confirms a data breach following a ransomware attack in May 2024. While initial reports suggested stolen user data, the ARRL now clarifies that only information belonging to a limited number of employees was compromised.

Amateur radio community, American Radio Relay League (ARRL), which reported that it was the target of a significant ransomware attack in May 2024, has now confirmed that data of few of its employees was stolen in the cyberattack.

The ARRL data breach notification was recently shared with impacted individuals which mentioned that a “sophisticated ransomware incident” was detected after the attackers breached and encrypted its computer systems on May 14.

ARRL Data Breach: What Was Affected?

ARRL is the preeminent national association for amateur radio enthusiasts in the United States. In its data breach notification on May 20, ARRL mentioned that the attackers compromised data from “Logbook of The World” (LoTW) internet database. This platform is crucial for amateur radio operators, allowing them to record and verify successful contacts (QSOs) with fellow operators globally.

The LoTW’s functionality as a digital logbook and a user confirmation system is central to the operations of many enthusiasts who rely on its integrity for maintaining accurate records.

Following this attack, ARRL said, “We immediately took the affected systems offline, secured our network environment and engaged independent third-party forensic specialists to assist us with investigating the extent of any unauthorized activity.

“Our investigation has determined that the unauthorized third party may have acquired your personal information during this incident. Please know that we have taken all reasonable steps to prevent your data from being further published or distributed, have notified and are working with federal law enforcement to investigate.”

ARRL Data Breach Only Affected 150 Members: SEC Filing

ARRL, in its SEC filing with the Office of Maine’s Attorney General this week, claimed that the data breach in May only affected 150 employees.

In its notice to impacted individuals recently, ARRL wrote, “While we have no evidence that your information has been misused, we are notifying you of this incident and are offering you the resources provided in this letter, in an abundance of caution and so that you can take precautionary steps to help protect yourself, should you wish to do so. ARRL recommends you proceed with caution and take advantage of the resources provided in this letter.”

The community decided to provide those impacted by this data breach with 24 months of free identity monitoring.

“We value the safety of your personal information and want to make sure you have the information you need so that you can take steps to further protect yourself, should you feel it appropriate to do so. We encourage you to remain vigilant and to regularly review and monitor relevant account statements and credit reports and report suspected incidents of identity theft to local law enforcement, your state’s Attorney General or the Federal Trade Commission (the “FTC”).

“To help relieve concerns and restore confidence following this incident, we have secured the services of Kroll to provide identity monitoring at no cost to you for 24 months. Kroll is a global leader in risk mitigation and response, and their team has extensive experience helping people who have sustained unintentional exposure of confidential data. Your identity monitoring services include Credit Monitoring, $1 Million Identity Fraud Loss Reimbursement, Fraud Consultation, and Identity Theft Restoration,” the company said in a statement.

Even though the community has so far released two public statements regarding the data breach, ARRL has not linked the ransomware attack to a specific threat actor.

This incident also serves as a reminder of the vulnerabilities inherent in digital transformation. As organizations increasingly rely on online platforms for critical services, enhanced cybersecurity measures become indispensable. The ARRL’s experience could prompt other associations and similar entities to re-evaluate their cybersecurity postures and adopt more stringent safeguards.

AmateurLogic.TV Episode 195 is now available for download.

George replaces a defective FT-857d display with an economical new option. Emile’s Cheap Old Code. Tommy shows how to get your GMRS license and visits the new GigaParts Superstore. Terry, 2E0IPK visits with his RigExpert AA-230 Zoom analyzer.

Over 600 amateur radio enthusiasts ham it up at 1st-ever Hamcon: Zion in St. George (Utah)

The American Radio Relay League and the Dixie Amateur Radio Club is sponsoring the two-day Hamcon:Zion 2024 event for ham radio operators.

It featured workshops, presentations, social events and a group of vendors offering the most modern ham radio equipment.

“We’ve been very blessed. There’s been kind of an organic media pushing it through,” event chairperson Rachel Campbell told St. George News. “All the people we reached out to responded with real enthusiasm.”

Opening day events were winding down Friday afternoon but Campbell anticipated a large turnout Saturday.

Read more – St. George News: https://bit.ly/4f7tQNJ

 

MONDAY EDITION: Going on vacation for a week on the lake in NH....but I am on vacation here in Rockport

Via the ARRL: Celebrating Software Defined Radio

At Ham Radio 2024, the International amateur radio exhibition, last week in Friedrichshafen, Germany, the Software Defined Radio Academy (SDRA) celebrated its 10-year anniversary. Founded in 2014, the SDRA has become a new platform for the exchange of knowledge surrounding software defined radio. In the early years, the academy’s lectures were recorded with primitive camera technology, but toda…

Read more – via American Radio Relay League | Ham Radio Association and Resources http://www.arrl.org/news/view/celebrating-software-defined-radio

Colorado’s ham radio operators are ready for an emergency — just don’t call them amateurs

Rocky Mountain Ham Radio member Doug Sharp, call sign K2AD, of Longmont, participates in the ham radio group’s annual Field Day. He is operating from a retired TV production truck, one of several such trucks donated by Colorado TV stations to support the group’s mission of supporting emergency radio communications in the event of an emergency managed by the Colorado Office of Emergency Management. (Andy Colwell, Special to The Colorado Sun)

The radio operators have helped set up communications to assist with state response to floods in Hinsdale County and wildfires across the state. Most recently the AUXCOMM team helped establish remote monitoring systems so state regulators could better track and mitigate the spread of avian influenza in rural parts of the state. 

Kevin Klein, the director of the Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, remembers when the September 2013 flood in Colorado’s Front Range wiped out fiber network communications and “the only thing we were getting was coming from ham radio operators.”

The support during the floods helped set the stage for a more organized group of volunteers who became the Colorado AUXCOMM organization.  

“These folks have the knowledge and expertise to really assist us in a lot of ways,” Klein said. “For me, their enthusiasm for service is the really cool part.”

What happens at the 24-hour Field Day

In the breezy field about 20 miles from Fairplay, the Rocky Mountain HAM Radio members bustled through the 24-hour Field Day. A solar-powered trailer bunkhouse housed six people sleeping in shifts so they could keep the airwaves cackling day and night. Retrofitted toy hauler trailers were wedged with wires and electronics powered by solar panels and backed up by diesel generators. A communal kitchen kept food flowing for the radio users, many of whom arrive early and stay late around the national Field Day, making it more of a field week. 

The Field Day participants collected points for contacts, part of a gaming component of amateur radio that keeps the dial-twisting, head-phoned users sharp and ready. At the top of every hour, amateur radio operators around the country tune into a single, certain band and listen for any emergency SOS call. They call that wilderness protocol. Rocky Mountain HAM also offers online classes and seminars helping folks learn how to be more efficient at transmitting voice and data over radio waves.

A fleet of retired news satellite vans — the ham people call them Quick Response Vehicles — anchored telescoping dishes that once connected roaming television reporters to their studios. In one of those vans, Doug Sharp — who has the highest level of licensing: Amateur Extra — huddled over a control panel, tapping out Morse code and interpreting incoming messages. Morse code transmissions — using Continuous Wave radio frequency — were the first types of wireless communication that established radio communication in the 19th century as an option beyond wired telegraphy.

— How fast Doug Sharp can send messages in Morse code

The Morse code transmissions are still important ways to speedily communicate essential information in an emergency, and Sharp, the head of technology for Rocky Mountain HAM, is a leading practitioner of the antiquated art, able to send and interpret 65 words a minute. 

Sharp — K2AD— logged more than 1,000 contacts with Morse code during Field Day, up from 700 last year. 

Radio operators have helped with evacuations around recent fires in California and Hawaii and helped support police radio transmissions in 2019 when a shooter opened fire at the annual garlic festival in Gilroy, California, with thousands of attendees. 

“There is no wrong way to do HAM radio,” he said. 

Many of the members work with local high school students to foster an appreciation for new and old communications technology. Like Chris Keller — K0SWE — a Google software engineer who mentors Broomfield High School students in building robotics. His daughter, 11-year-old Kaylee, built her own radio at the Field Day gathering. 

She’s hoping to get her amateur radio license soon and has begun studying for the licensing exam. The radio picks up random signals as she spins the dial she soldered into place. 

“Probably listen to KOSI 101 in my room,” she said, when asked about her plans for the gizmo. 

The nonprofit Rocky Mountain HAM Radio club has invested around $250,000 in its communal equipment. The group’s volunteers have logged thousands of hours of service. 

“One of the things about amateur radio is that you can’t make any money from it,” said Mark Skelton — N7CTM — a director of the club who recently hiked several miles to replace batteries in a microwave relay station on Badger Mountain near Colorado Springs.

“You are not a volunteer. You are an unpaid professional,” said Jim Dixon — KA6ETA — who has helped his fellow radio operators use 3D printers to create the parts and hardware they need.

WEEKEND EDITION: The local club having a Fox hunt meeting today. First a little talk on the fox transmitter and then on how to direction nd with a simple walkie using first and third harmonic and other tricks...

Nation’s last Morse code station comes back to life on annual ‘Night of Nights’ in Point Reyes

KPH, established in Point Reyes and Bolinas in 1913, will exchange messages with Morse code enthusiasts around the world

On July 12, 1999, the nation’s final message in Morse code was sent out to sea from a remote Bay Area radio station. The end of an era, the room’s mood was mournful. Grizzled old men wept.

“We wish you fair winds and following seas,” it said, offering a seafarers’ traditional farewell in a staccato stream of dots and dashes. And then the station went silent.

But every July 12, the golden age of maritime radio comes back to life.

Volunteers at the last surviving Morse code radio station — KPH, established in Point Reyes and Bolinas in 1913 by the American Marconi Co. and run by the Maritime Radio Historical Society — will exchange messages with Morse code enthusiasts around the world, including memorials and a salute to now-silent coast stations.

Friday’s “Night of Nights” event, which commemorates the long-gone stations and the skilled radiotelegraph operators who linked ships to shore, starts at 5:01 p.m. – precisely one minute after the 1999 message ended. Operators will keep working until 11 p.m.

“We’re carrying on,” said historical society president Richard Dillman, 80, who learned Morse code as a boy. “Morse code is not dead.”

The event, based at KPH’s stations that are now part of the wild and windswept Point Reyes National Seashore, northwest of San Francisco, is not open to the public.

But amateur radio operators around the world can participate by sending messages and exchanging greetings. The operating frequencies of the historical society’s amateur station, under the call sign K6KPH, are 3550, 7050, 14050, 18097.5 and 21050.

Radiogrammed messages arrive from as far away as New Zealand and Europe, rich with memories of rewarding careers or poignant tributes to lost loved ones.   “Dear dad, we love you and we miss you so much,” said one.

The station uses the original historic KPH transmitters, receivers, antennas and other equipment, carefully repaired and restored by the society’s experts.

Before Morse code, ships had no way to communicate with each other, or tell ports that they were on their way. They couldn’t announce they were in trouble.

First devised in the 1830s by Samuel F.B. Morse for use with the telegraph, the code became an essential part of civilian, maritime and military radio communications.

It’s a simple yet powerful system. It uses two symbols: the dot, or “dits” (.) and the dash, or “dah” (-). The dot is a quick sound, while the dash is three times longer. By combining dots and dashes, it’s possible to form letters, numbers, and other characters.

Listening for a message, “you have earphones on, and there’s static, interference and all this other stuff going on,” said Dillman, who came from New York to California during the ’60s “Summer of Love” to pursue broadcast engineering and had a 30-year career as a radio operator for vessels of the environmental group Greenpeace.

“But in the midst of that, you hear a signal from the ship. It’s like they’re speaking to you,” he said. To send a message, using thumbs and forefingers, operators type a stream of “dits” and “dahs” with the ease of a virtuoso.  Each operator has their own cadence and style.

The original paper tape of Morse’s first message — “What hath God wrought,” borrowed from the Bible — is still on display at the Library of Congress.

Morse code transmitted the final distress signal of the Titanic on April 14, 1912,  as the ship slipped beneath the waves. “Come at once,” tapped the Titanic’s radio engineers. “We have struck a ‘berg.”

But Morse code’s signal has faded. With no practical relevance in an age of high-speed and efficient digital communications, the U.S. military and Coast Guard has abandoned its use. (Remarkably, it is still used by the Russian military in the Ukraine war.)

All over the Pacific coast, stations closed. KPH’s receiving headquarters — an Art Deco cube built between 1929 and 1931, its entrance framed by a tunnel of cypress trees  — was acquired by the National Park Service in 1999. Its transmission station is located on a windswept bluff in Bolinas.

ARRL on The Weather Channel

ARRL® The National Association for Amateur Radio® joined The Weather Channel on Thursday, July 11, 2024, for a live chat about the value of amateur radio during hurricane season and beyond. ARRL’s Bob Inderbitzen, NQ1R, talked about how radio helps inform the warning process through surface observations relayed through the Hurricane Watch Net and other nets to WX4NHC, the amateur radio station at the National Hurricane Center.

Viewers were told how local ARRL volunteers serve their local agencies through the Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES®) and how they could get licensed through ARRL materials and become a part of it.

Check it out

The K7RA Solar Update

New sunspot groups, nine in all, emerged on every day of this reporting week, July 4 to 10. One on July 4, another on July 5, two more on July 6, another each on July 7 and July 8, two more on July 9 and another on July 10.

On July 11, two more sunspot groups emerged, and the total sunspot area expanded by 13 per cent.

Despite the appearance of so many new sunspots, average daily sunspot number declined from 181.6 to 129, compared to the previous week. Average daily solar flux barely moved, changing from 175 to 176.6.

Predicted solar flux for the next month is 205 on July 12 and 13, 210 on July 14 and 15, 205 on July 16 to 18, 195 on July 19 and 20, 200 on July 21 to 25, 190 on July 26, 180 on July 27 to 29, 175 on July 30, and 170 on July 31 through August 2, then 165 on August 3 to 6, 160 on August 7 and 8, 175 on August 9, 180 on August 10 to 13, 195 on August 14 to 16, and 200 on August 17 to 21.

Predicted planetary A index is 8, 15, 18, 12 and 8 on July 12 to 16, 5 on July 17 to 20, then 10 and 8 on July 21 and 22, then 5 on July 23 to August 3, then 12, 10, and 5 on August 4 to 6, then 12, 8 and 5 on August 7 to 9, then 12, 10 and 8 on August 10 to 12, then 5 on August 13 to 15, and 10 and 8 on August 16 and 17 and 5 on August 18 and beyond.

Tamitha Skov wrote in an email on Wednesday:

We have a new big flare player rotating through the Earth-strike zone with some X-flare potential. Region 3738 has been growing rapidly over the past 24 hours, with some new spot clusters emerging right in the center of the original set. This kind of growth is highly magnetically unstable and is upping the noise on the day-side radio bands.

As of earlier today, we had already popped a couple of low-level M-class flares and now are approaching the R1-radio blackout level for a noise floor. That is quick growth! I did my best to estimate the conditions for the coming week in these 5-day Outlooks, but in the time it has taken to generate them, the region's growth has accelerated.

It looks like I will need to update the Solar Flare and Day side Radio Blackout Outlook in the above snapshot to something closer to a 60 per cent chance of M-Class flares and a 15 per cent chance of X-class flares. I will do this asap!

Other than Region 3738, we do have a pocket of fast solar wind coming that could give us a decent chance of aurora at high latitudes over the early part of the weekend. This is the only solar storm possibility for now, although we could see a new Earth-directed solar storm launch over the next few days! I will go over this possibility and the new fireworks from Region 3738 in the upcoming forecast I am shooting now.

Dr. Tamitha Skov has many videos of interest to our readers.  You can find them here:

https://www.youtube.com/c/TamithaSkov

Weekly Commentary on the Sun, the Magnetosphere, and the Earth's Ionosphere, July 11, 2024 from F. K. Janda, OK1HH.

In early July, a sunspot group responsible for the May 10 superstorm reappeared on the southeastern limb. By the way, this superstorm caused thousands of satellites to drop in altitude, according to a research paper just accepted by the Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets.

The aforementioned group was designated AR3664 at the time, in subsequent solar rotations AR3697, AR3723, is visible again, while in the same region are now AR3742, AR3743, and AR3745.

The most active is the rapidly growing AR3768, five times the size of the Earth. Most importantly, there is a coronal hole to the north of AR3768. Between mentioned CH and AR we can expect a source of enhanced solar wind that will very likely head towards the Earth and cause a geomagnetic disturbance on July 13 and 14. Ionospheric shortwave propagation conditions, randomly influenced by sporadic layer E in the northern hemisphere of the Earth during the summer, affected by numerous solar flares will develop, but less regularly.

Cycles 24 and 25 compared: https://bit.ly/3Y05gIM

Sunspot number calculations and the peak of the cycle: https://yhoo.it/3WjX5Wg 

Five flares: https://bit.ly/3WlwuqT

David Moore sent this about solar convection:  

https://bit.ly/3WlQCKF

Solar max: https://bit.ly/3xK36lR

New look at Maunder minima: https://bit.ly/3WgVoJh

Send your tips, reports, observations, questions and comments to k7ra@arrl.net . When reporting observations, don't forget to tell us which mode you were operating.

For more information concerning shortwave radio propagation, see http://www.arrl.org/propagation and the ARRL Technical Information Service web page at, http://arrl.org/propagation-of-rf-signals

For an explanation of numbers used in this bulletin, see http://arrl.org/the-sun-the-earth-the-ionosphere.

An archive of past propagation bulletins is at

http://arrl.org/w1aw-bulletins-archive-propagation . More good information and tutorials on propagation are at http://k9la.us/

Also, check this: https://bit.ly/3Rc8Njt  

Instructions for starting or ending email distribution of ARRL bulletins are at http://arrl.org/bulletins.

Sunspot numbers for July 4 through 10 2024 were 113, 111, 132, 119, 95, 143, and 190, with a mean of 129. 10.7 cm flux was 173, 165.6, 166, 171.3, 168.5, 178.2, and 213.6, with a mean of 176.6. Estimated planetary A indices were 10, 8, 3, 8, 10, 6, and 6, with a mean of 7.3. Middle latitude A Index was 10, 10, 4, 7, 11, 8, and 8, with a mean of 8.3.

Amateur Radio Newsline Report

HAMS RESPOND AS HURRICANE BERYL MAKES LANDFALL IN US

STEPHEN/ANCHOR: For the second week in a row, our top story is Hurricane Beryl, the powerful and destructive storm that raged in the Caribbean and parts of the southern US states. Hams continued to play a role in emergency communications. Randy Sly W4XJ tells us what was involved.

RANDY: Hurricane Beryl, the second named storm for this year in the Atlantic, is now only a remnant of a storm, but its eight-day impact left a wake of destruction and deaths with three different landfalls. Often, when a storm finally settles over a large land mass, most of the population relaxes, thinking the worst is over. After Beryl landed on the Texas coast near Matagorda as a Category 1 storm, it still created havoc, especially in the city of Houston, Texas where over 2 million homes and businesses were left without power for more than a day.

Bobby Graves, KB5HAV, Net Manager of the Hurricane Watch Net, told AR Newsline that just because a hurricane finally arrives at a large land mass that does not mean that we can drop our guard. He went on to say, [quote] “Tropical systems can cause major inland flooding and spin-up tornados. Remember, Hurricane Ivan in 2004 was responsible for nearly 130 tornados from Florida to Pennsylvania.” [endquote]

Graves told participants in the net that they were still needed as reporting stations, providing real-time data to the National Hurricane Center. Covering Hurricane Beryl also included other challenges for the net team, including problems with solar activity throughout the event which impacted the ability to communicate.

This is Randy Sly, W4XJ

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INDIAN HAM CLUB INTERVENES IN YOUTH-ON-YOUTH VIOLENCE

STEPHEN/ANCHOR: Sometimes, using your amateur radio contacts and connections - even without picking up a radio - can prove lifesaving. That's what happened recently when hams in India were able to help Bengali authorities in a situation involving youth-on-youth violence. We hear more from Jim Meachen ZL2BHF.

JIM: As the Bengali government struggles with a reported regional rise in violence by youth mobs against other young people, a group of ham radio operators was able to intercede in what local media described as one such case. On July 4th, the website for The Statesman newspaper said a young man was accosted by a group of youths in front of the Indian Institute of Technology in Kharagpur. As the assailants set upon him, accusing him of having stolen a mobile phone, two members of the West Bengal Radio Club were passing by. The two club members, who are shortwave listeners studying for their ham license, sent other club members photographs of the assailants and their victim via their mobile phones. The club secretary, Ambarish Nag Biswas, VU2JFA, said the photos were distributed to radio operators throughout the region using the WhatsApp mobile phone application. The young victim was soon identified by his brother in another town. He said his brother was suffering from psychological difficulties and had disappeared from home a few days earlier.

Police were called to the scene and rescued the young man. According to the news report, police determined that he had stolen nothing and could be returned to his family the next day.

This is Jim Meachen ZL2BHF.

(THE STATESMAN)

**

HAMS IN BRAZIL MARK LEAGUE'S 90th ANNIVERSARY

STEPHEN/ANCHOR: Hams in Brazil are marking their amateur radio league's 90th anniversary by inviting the world to join the party. We have more details from Jeremy Boot G4NJH.

JEREMY: Reaching the age of 90 is no small achievement. Hams in the Liga de Amadores Brasileiros de Rádio Emissão, or LABRE, perhaps know that better than anyone as their amateur radio organisation - the oldest in Brazil - marks its 90th anniversary. The hams are launching a special contest to mark the occasion. The LABRE contest will be held on the 20th and 21st of July and hams around the world are being invited to contact their counterparts in Brazil using SSB and CW. Organisers are hoping that contacts will be made on all the eligible bands and are encouraging participants to use as many of the bands as possible.

The league wrote in translation on the contest website that they hope this activity will become "a landmark in international amateur radio competition."

This is Jeremy Boot G4NJH.

(LABRE)

**
STUDENTS' SATELLITES LIFT OFF FROM CALIFORNIA

STEPHEN/ANCHOR: Student-built satellites from Arizona and Maine were among those sent into space aboard a privately owned rocket recently in California. Ralph Squillace KK6ITB explains what their missions are.

RALPH: Two days after its scheduled launch was scrubbed, a student-built satellite lifted off from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California, lighting up the night sky on the 3rd of July. Built by engineering students at the University at Arizona, the CatSat was launched on a privately owned rocket of Firefly Aerospace. The satellite's mission is to collect space weather data every 95 minutes while in low-earth orbit for the next six months. CatSat will be transmitting at high speeds with a state-of-the-art radio from Rincon Research Corporation and an inflatable antenna from FreeFall Aerospace. FireFly Aerospace describes the antenna as making use of a Mylar balloon with a transparent front half that permits the pass-through of microwaves and an aluminized back half that is reflective.

The CatSat was one of eight CubeSats developed as part of NASA's CubeSat Launch Initiative.

This is Ralph Squillace KK6ITB.


STEPHEN/ANCHOR: The launch also carried the first CubeSat from the state of Maine into space. Known as MESAT1, it was created with support from NASA's CubeSat Launch Initiative and the Maine Space Grant Consortium. It has three imaging experiments aboard designed by schools and a two-way amateur radio transponder.


(KVOA NEWS 4 TUCSON, UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA, YOUTUBE, MAINESAT.ORG)

**
CERTIFICATES AVAILABLE FOR YL SOTA EVENT

STEPHEN/ANCHOR: If you found yourself logging as many contacts as possible with YLs on SOTA summits during the weekend of June 1st and 2nd, it's time to receive your certificates. The inaugural Queens of the Mountains event featured a team of YLs in the US using 1x1 special event calls. The activators themselves were busy chasing summit-to-summit contacts and YLs who were joining them in the activation by operating from DX summits. The organizers, Amy AG7GP, and Paula K9IR, plan to make this an annual event in the hope of inspiring other YLs to get involved in SOTA. For details on how to get your certificate, follow the link to the SOTA Reflector that appears in the text version of this week's Newsline newscast.

[DO NOT READ: https://reflector.sota.org.uk/t/queens-of-the-mountains-certificates-now-available/35732 ]


(SOTA REFLECTOR)

**
UNEXPECTED EXPENSE WORRIES RADIO AND COMMUNICATIONS MUSEUM

STEPHEN/ANCHOR: In Connecticut, a popular radio and communications museum run by volunteers is facing the unexpected expense of having to help pay for the installation of a public sewer line. Andy Morrison K9AWM reports on this big, expensive concern.

ANDY: A volunteer-run museum that has been devoted to the history of radio and communications since its earliest days in 1990 is facing a new challenge: This time, however, the Vintage Radio and Communication Museum of Connecticut isn't trying to acquire anything for its exhibits or to preserve any particular old-time communications equipment in its collection.

The museum is facing a bill of more than $28,000 as one of five property owners affected by the installation of a sewer line along the road where its building is in Windsor, Connecticut.

Director John Ellsworth writes on the museum's website: [quote] "As an all-volunteer-run museum, we do not have those funds on-hand, nor did we expect this expense to occur so quickly." [end quote] The project is taking place over the summer. The museum has begun seeking donations from its friends and supporters.

The club's collection of vintage radio, TV and computer technology includes its own amateur radio club, W1VCM. The station is there to educate the public about ham radio and serve as an active exhibit for club members and guests who are licensed radio operators.

The club's page on QRZ.com and the museum's website at vrcmct dot org (vrcmct.org/) have more details.

This is Andy Morrison K9AWM.

(VINTAGE RADIO AND COMMUNICATION MUSEUM; QRZ.COM)

**

BREAK HERE: Time for you to identify your station. We are the Amateur Radio Newsline heard on bulletin stations around the world including D-STAR Reflector 91 C at 7:30 p.m. Melbourne Australian time on Wednesdays, or at 0930 UTC following a short net with VK3JS.

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TEXAS AMATEURS PREPARE FOR 'MOON DAY' DEMONSTRATION

STEPHEN/ANCHOR: Between an eclipse in the spring and then flares and storms a few weeks ago, the sun has been getting a lot of attention lately. Now it's the moon's turn - and Travis Lisk N3ILS tells us how the moon is getting its day, at least in Texas.

TRAVIS: The Frontiers of Flight Museum in Dallas is once again marking "Moon Day" on the 20th of July, a date to celebrate the anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission's landing on the moon. According to the schedule of events, the moon will have its day in the sun at last through a variety of presentations. The Dallas Amateur Radio Club will show how hams communicate via EME, or moon bounce and AMSAT ambassadors will be present to demonstrate what radio communication is like through amateur satellites. The keynote speaker will be former NASA astronaut Gregory Johnson, whose experience piloting early space shuttle flights contributed toward the construction of the International Space Station.

The six-hour program is considered the year's largest space-related event in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.


This is Travis Lisk N3ILS.

(AMSAT)

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AMSAT-ARGENTINA'S SATELLITE: DEAD OR ALIVE?

STEPHEN/ANCHOR: AMSAT-Argentina is looking for some help from the amateur radio community in answering this question: is its LUSAT microsatellite dead or alive? John Williams VK4JJW tells us how you can help.

JOHN: Launched in January of 1990, the amateur radio microsatellite known as LO-19 outlived its expected lifespan. Even in recent years, an unmodulated carrier signal could still be heard coming from the LUSAT in its sun-synchronous orbit. According to a report in AMSAT News, Gustavo, LW2DTZ, declared the microsatellite to be dead after several observers told him recently that they were no longer able to detect the CW carrier.

All that changed on the 1st of July. The signal was reportedly picked up on that day by Nico, PAØDLO, who reported that its strength was noticeably weaker, suggesting a failure had occurred in its onboard power amplifier.

AMSAT-Argentina is hoping to learn more and has asked hams with "well-equipped ground stations" to continue to listen for LO-19 and report what they hear, if anything.

This is John Williams VK4JJW

(AMSAT)

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WORLD OF DX

In the World of DX, listen for the Deep Blue DX Team using the callsign J48FT from Tinos Island, IOTA Number EU-067, between the 26th of July and the 9th of August. The team will also take part in the IOTA Contest on the 27th and 28th of July. QSL cards will not be available. See QRZ.com for QSL details.

Fabio PY4YY, Marcio PU4MDO and Cardoso PU2LJH will be on the air as PV2IC from Ilha [EEL-HAH] das Couves, IOTA Number SA-071, during the IOTA Contest weekend. Listen for them using SSB and FT8 on 80-10 metres. See QRZ.com for QSL details.

Tom, OE4EIE, is on the air to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Rhein Ruhr DX Association. He is using the callsign OE4RRDXA through to the end of September. There are no paper QSL cards. See QRZ.com for QSL details.

Yaroslav, R1BET, and Mike, R1MJ will be calling CQ as RI1K (R EYE ONE KAY) from Bol'shoy Zhuzhmuy Island, IOTA Number EU-147, from the 20th through to the 28th of July. QSL via R1BET. For other details see QRZ.com.

(425 DX BULLETIN)

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KICKER: METEOR SCATTER CONTACTS? WISH UPON THESE SHOOTING STARS

STEPHEN/ANCHOR: If you spend a bit of time on 6m or even 2m, the next few weeks should bring you the promise of good things - courtesy of some meteor showers, specifically from the Comet Swift-Tuttle. Kent Peterson KCØDGY tells us what's going on.

KENT: They're called the Perseids [per see yids] Meteor Showers and this year they are dusting the sky with tiny particles, ionizing the E-layer of the ionosphere starting in mid-July. That means sometime between July 17th and the 24th of August you may reap the benefits of meteor scatter. Many hams consider this the biggest moment of the year for meteor scatter, bringing the possibility of VHF contacts that can extend as far as 2,000 kilometres, or not quite 1250 miles, for those setting the alarm clock to rise before dawn. The peak dates for these contacts will come on the 12th and 13th of August.

According to the website space.com, this phenomenon enjoyed by so many amateur radio operators is the legacy of the Comet Swift-Tuttle, which has not been close to Earth since 1992. Our planet, however, passes through the debris the comet left behind and the result are these lively meteor showers. Although there are lots of fans of astrophotography who enjoy capturing brilliant images, we amateurs hope, of course, that all that debris may help us put together some interesting QSOs.

This is Kent Peterson KCØDGY.

FRIDAY EDITION: I have been having some software and server issues, bear with me while I straighten things out....July 19 - 21, 2024 special event station W3A will be activated by the Amateur Radio Club of the National Electronics Museum (ARCNEM). The event will commemorate live television transmissions from the Moon that allowed the world to watch astronaut Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the lunar surface on July 20, 1969. Activation will be 1300Z - 2200Z using 14.269, 14.069, 7.269, and 7.069 MHz. There also may be operation on 80 meters (3.869, 3.569) and digital modes during the event. All frequencies +/- according to QRM. A special certificate and QSL card will be available via SASE. Details will be updated at ww-2.us. ......

ARRL finally confirms ransomware gang stole data in cyberattack

The American Radio Relay League (ARRL) finally confirmed that some of its employees' data was stolen in a May ransomware attack initially described as a "serious incident."

ARRL, the National Association for Amateur Radio, said in data breach notifications recently sent to impacted individuals that it detected the "sophisticated ransomware incident" after the attackers breached and encrypted its computer systems on May 14.

After discovering the breach, ARRL took impacted systems offline to contain the incident and hired external forensic experts to help assess the attack's impact.

In early June, it also revealed that its systems were hacked by a "malicious international cyber group" in a "sophisticated network attack."

"Our investigation has determined that the unauthorized third party may have acquired your personal information during this incident," it told individuals whose data was stolen.

"Please know that we have taken all reasonable steps to prevent your data from being further published or distributed, have notified and are working with federal law enforcement to investigate.

"Impacted data may have contained your personal information, including your name, address and social security number."

In a filing with the Office of Maine's Attorney General this week, the organization claims that this data breach only affected 150 employees.

Although ARRL said no evidence was found that the stolen personal information was misused, it still decided to provide those impacted by this data breach with 24 months of free identity monitoring through Kroll out of "an abundance of caution."

ARRL has not linked the attack to a specific ransomware gang, but sources told BleepingComputer that the Embargo ransomware operation was behind this incident.

However, although this ransomware group first surfaced in May and has since added only eight victims to its dark web leak site (some already removed, likely because they paid a ransom), ARRL has yet to be listed.

ARRL stated in the breach notifications that they have taken "all reasonable steps to prevent your data from being further published or distributed," which could be taken to mean that a ransom was paid to prevent the data from being leaked.

Firstmac Limited, the largest non-bank lender in Australia, is one of the victims who had over 500GB of stolen data leaked on Embargo's website.

You can't fix stupid....

The Outsider | Ham radio wizards blend new, old technology to bolster communications in crises

JEFFERSON — Far from pavement, in a craggy South Park meadow of sagebrush and granite, a die-hard group has established a high-tech command post.

They’ve circled their camper trailers. Long-retired satellite news vans — their dishes teetering 40 feet up — line the perimeter. Generators hum next to banks of solar panels.

Willem Schreüder climbs into his trailer, where towers of computer equipment blink and whir. He taps on a laptop, scrolling through 239 fixed and mobile radio relay sites across the Rocky Mountains, showing off customized software that can remotely control and repair remote radio signal transmitters.

“A lot of what we do is backup for public safety and even though we are volunteers, we take our work very seriously,” said Schreüder, a long-bearded professor of computer science at the University of Colorado who has been involved with amateur radio for more than 40 years. “Really we are amateurs in name only.”

There is nothing amateur about the gathering in the remote corner of South Park. Part of the National Association for Amateur Radio’s annual Field Day — a nationwide rally of licensed ham radio hobbyists that started in 1933 — the circled collection of high-tech camper trailers and vans is bustling with technical wizards training for that day when they are called into service.

THURSDAY EDITION:

THE WILDERNESS AS YOUR RECEIVER & THE DUALITY OF HAM RADIO

It is easy to learn the “how-to” basics of a Ham radio operation. It’s easy to get your own call-sign. It can be easy for people to find you, looking you up in the QRZ.com directory. And it’s easy (relatively) to get an FCC-issued Amateur Radio license for operating a Ham radio.

The hard part? It can be getting out, getting away from all the city noise, all the background chatter, away from all the restrictions that come with suburban lifestyles, HOA restrictions, complications with finding just where you can safely place a 66-foot-long wire with a homemade radio antenna attached.

It turns out, you don’t need a big room equipped with tons of electronics and a 70-foot radio tower outside, to be able to reach hundreds and thousands of miles with a Ham radio set. The technology allows for “portability” — being able to take off at a moment’s notice, on foot or dirtbike or boat, whatever, to remote locations that are far from any other human physical contact.

Read more – Filson blog: https://www.filson.com/blog/profiles/the-wilderness-as-your-receiver-the-duality-of-ham-radio/

WEDNESDAY EDITION: Fogged in and the lift is on two meters, a guy from the Bronx checked in the other day...

When you buy a cheap ham radio handy-talkie, you usually get a little “rubber ducky” antenna with it. You can also buy many replacement ones that are at least longer. But how good are they? [Learnelectronics] wanted to know, too, so he broke out his NanoVNA and found out that they were all bad, although some were worse than others. You can see the results in the — sometimes fuzzy — video below.

Of course, bad is in the eye of the beholder and you probably suspected that most of them weren’t super great, but they do seem especially bad. So much so, that, at first, he suspected he was doing something wrong. The SWR was high all across the bands the antennas targeted.

It won’t come as a surprise to find that making an antenna work at 2 meters and 70 centimeters probably isn’t that easy. In addition, it is hard to imagine the little stubby antenna the size of your thumb could work well no matter what. Still, you’d think at least the longer antennas would be a little better.

Hams have had SWR meters for years, of course. But it sure is handy to be able to connect an antenna and see its performance over a wide band of frequencies. Some of the antennas weren’t bad on the UHF band. That makes sense because the antenna is physically larger but at VHF the size didn’t seem a big difference.

 

RADIO ACTIVE HAMS

 K1TP- Jon....Editor of As The World Turns....
WB1ABC- Ari..Bought an amp and now we can here him on 75 meters, worships his wife, obsessed with Id'ing
N1BOW-Phil...Retired broadcast engineer, confused and gullible, cheap, only uses singl ply toilet paper
KB1OWO- Larry...Handsome Fellow ,only cuts lawn in August, plows snow the rest in Jackman, Maine
W1GEK- Big Mike....Nearfest Cook, big motor home, electronics software engineer ...
AA1SB- Neil...Living large traveling the country with his girlfriend...loves CW
N1YX- Igor....peddles quality Russian keys, software engineer
K1BGH...Art.....Restores cars and radio gear, nice fella...
N1XW.....Mike-easy going, Harley riding kind of guy!
K1JEK-Joe...Easy going, can be found at most ham flea market ...Cobra Antenna builder..
KA1GJU- Kriss- Tower climbing pilot who cooks on the side at Hosstrader's...
W1GWU-Bob....one of the Hosstrader's original organizers, 75 meter regular, Tech Wizard!!!
K1PV- Roger....75 meter regular, easy going guy...
W1XER...Scott....easy going guy, loves to split cordwood and hunt...
KB1VX- Barry- the picture says it all, he loves food!
KC1BBU- Bob....the Mud Duck from the Cape Cod Canal, making a lot of noise.
W1STS- Scott...philosopher, hat connoisseur,
KB1JXU- Matthew...75 meter regular...our token liberal Democrat out of Florida
K1PEK-Steve..Founder of Davis-RF....my best friend from high school 
K9AEN-John...Easy going ham found at all the ham fests
K1BQT.....Rick....very talented ham, loves his politics, has designed gear for MFJ...
W1KQ- Jim-  Retired Air Force Controller...told quite a few pilots where to go!
N1OOL-Jeff- The 3936 master plumber and ragchewer...
K1BRS-Bruce- Computer Tech of 3936...multi talented kidney stone passing ham...
K1BGH- Arthur, Cape Cod, construction company/ice cream shop, hard working man....
W1VAK- Ed, Cape Cod, lots of experience in all areas, once was a Jacques Cousteus body guard....
K1BNH- Bill- Used to work for a bottled gas company-we think he has been around nitrous oxide to long
W1HHO- Cal...3941 group
K1MPM- Pete...3941 group
WA1JFX- Russell...3941

SILENT KEYS

Silet Key KA1BXB-Don...Regular on 3900 mornings....just don't mention politics to him, please!
Silent Key N1IOM- 3910 colorful regular
Silent Key WS1D- Warren- "Windy" - Bullnet
Silent Key KMIG-Rick....75 Meter Regular....teaches the future of mankind, it's scary!
Silent Key Neil -K1YPM .....a true gentleman
Silent Key K1BXI- John.........Dr. Linux....fine amateur radio op ....wealth of experience...
Silent KeyVA2GJB- Graham...one of the good 14313 guys back in the day.
Silent Key K1BHV- David...PITA
Silent Key W1JSH- Mort...Air Force man
Silent Key K1MAN--Glen....PITA
Silent KeyKB1CJG-"Cobby"- Low key gent can be found on many of the 75 meter nets.........
Silent KeyWB1AAZ- Mike, Antrim, NH, auto parts truck driver-retired
Silent KeyWB1DVD- Gil....Gilly..Gilmore.....easy going, computer parts selling, New England Ham..
Silent Key W1OKQ- Jack....3936 Wheeling and Dealing......keeping the boys on there toes....
Silent Key W1TCS- Terry....75 meter regular, wealth of electronic knowledge...
Silent Key WIPNR- Mack....DXCC Master, worked them all!.. 3864 regular for many years...
Silent Key WILIM- Hu....SK at 92... 3864 regular for many years...
Silent Key N1SIE- Dave....Loves to fly
Silent Key:N1WBD- Big Bob- Tallest ham, at 6'10", of the 3864 group
Silent Key: W1FSK-Steve....Navy Pilot, HRO Salesman, has owned every radio ever built!
Silent Key: W4NTI-Vietnam Dan....far from easy going cw and ssb op on 14275/313
Silent Key:K1FUB-Bill- Loved ham radio....